about the artist
Christopher Rahmeh is an artist and illustrator who grew up reading comics and being inspired to create his own, which lent him wonderfully graphic and illustrative style from a young age. An avid horror fanatic, Chris often takes aspects from his favorite monsters for his artworks, which he combines with his worldviews and graphical sensibilities. Mixing equal parts horror and humor, Chris’ art is macabre yet accessible. Chris is a graduate from Austin College with a major in Art and a minor in media studies. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Museum Studies and Digital Curation from Johns Hopkins University. Chris lives in Arlington, Texas with his wife Mary Frances Nelson, their dog Cassie, and their Roomba who practically runs the place
My art has almost always centered around surrealistic monsters or otherworldly creatures inspired by the horror movies I watch or the comics I read. These monsters often turn into vehicles for me to critique politics, current events, or art. Art is definitely one of my favorite things to critique because it can take itself very seriously. The veneration of the classic and the general ignorance of the contemporary until many years later when they realize it was genius all along. The way every new movement is a rejection of the previous one in the search for new ground while still upholding a rigid structure. Monsters are the opposite of structure and do not generally appear in “high art.”
I on the other view my monstrous inspirations as the highest form of art. For me, to design something that genuinely frightens takes a special kind of creative energy. My new body of work mixes inspirations from the art world and the horror world to subsequently elevate horror while reducing the seriousness of art. For example, Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Nude Descending a Staircase being paired with the scene from the terrifying Japanese horror masterpiece “Ju-On” where the grudge crawls down the staircase. The popular renaissance trope of Madonna and Child is certainly a lot more fun if you replace the baby Jesus with a Chestburster from “Alien.”
Art shouldn’t take itself so seriously as I think the innate notion to create an artistic hierarchy hampers our ability to appreciate the art we actually enjoy. I hope my work makes people laugh and realize that going to look at art doesn’t have to be a serious or calculated affair. I want for those who find a kinship with art appreciate the nods to famous works and for those who find a kinship with horror to really have a special treat.